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Materials

Tokyo firm finds use for Chinese biodegradable plastic in clothes

Japanese craftsmanship improves fiber quality, as company plans Europe sales

Yuichi Taka, a director of HighChem, holds a piece of clothing made using the sustainable fiber Highlact.

TOKYO -- HighChem, a Tokyo-based chemical trading company, has applied Japanese traditional craftsmanship to improve a Chinese-made biodegradable plastic fiber so it can be used in fashionable apparel and is marketing the fiber and fabrics to European garment makers.

The sustainable plastic has been deemed an alternative material for use as utensils and shopping bags because of its low heat conductivity and its ability to absorb dye so that prints can be made on it.

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